Finnish techno DJ and producer Joonas L carved his reputation as a trusted figure in Helsinki’s underground techno scene and remains one of the most in demand residents at Clinic.

Hi Joonas, tell us about you and how you got hooked on the scene? 

I was about 17 and my friend took me to a club called Bassment. It was actually first time I ever heard Drum n Bass before and I totally fell for it! I went up to the DJ in the club and started talking and a few months later, I was working at his vinyl record store. They had these black and gold Technics turntables and I started trying to learn how to beat match first with two copies of the same record. Alimo was teaching me new stuff as I got better and I think maybe six months later I played my first gig as a D’n’B Dj which was life changing for me. I was hooked for maybe 5 or 6 years until I moved to Shanghai, where I started playing tech house and bit of progressive.  So it’s been a bit of journey through music until I lost my heart to techno. I’ve been djing now for about 17 years so I guess there is no turning back…

Talk to us about your latest release and the inspiration behind it.

My latest release Zinn Soldat for Yeni’s LP just kind of happened. I think I might have asked her if she would have let me remix one her tracks, but she said that how about do an original for her upcoming VA album and I went for it. The inspiration for it was pretty much panic. 🙂 I had less than two weeks to come up with a track from scratch.

I knew the album as going to feature pretty dark techno in general, so I started working on something cool. I remember asking if it was OK to have a little bit of acid in the track and her reply changed the plot. She said “You can never have too much acid on a techno track “ so whatever was done at that moment I just went for it and it came out as a proper acid techno track and I’m actually really happy with it.

How did you get signed to Yeni’s Cyborgs In Love label and what were the main reason you chose them?

Well I had been in contact with Yeni for about a year before we even talked about doing a project together. When she asked me if I wanted to something for her label I was already sold since she is very cool person and her label is doing some great stuff. If you guys don’t know her or the label yet, I promise it wont take long until you do. She’s just amazing at everything she does. So yea I wouldn’t have missed this opportunity for anything.

What’s been your biggest achievement so far?

I’ve done some cool things, but getting signed to Simina Grigoriu’s Kuukou Records was truly a dream come true for me, since I’m a huge fan of her music and her label. I just recently released a track called One Stone with her label. Every project so far has been something I’ve dreamed about for so long, so I guess I would say each release is another achievement and hopefully there will be a lot more to come in the future.

Talk to us about the music scene like where you’re based. Where’s hot, who are the big names locally, plus how often are you playing?

Helsinki is quite small but there are a lot techno events here.  We have a lot of cool artists here and I’ve been blessed to play with most of my local heroes out here.  I play around 3-4 gigs per month and hopefully in future I can play more outside Finland as well.

Tell us about your DJ setup when you’re performing

When I was djing drum n bass it was only vinyl, but now days it’s easier to get hands on digital format so my setup is usually cdj’s, Pioneer or Allen & Heath mixer.

You made a mix for our C-U Presents series. Tell us where it was recorded.

This mix was recorded live at Underground Clinic event where we had this amazing lineup including Yeni, Ellen Allien, Slam, Peter Makto & Gregory S, Psyk and some local artist as well.

What are you goals for the future and do you have any other things planned that you want to share?

Right now I’m working on a track together with Valerie Maxfield who is this amazing British singer that I met almost 15 years ago when I booked Freestylers to play here in Helsinki.

My remix for Tube & Berger will be also be released on June 7th, so this is something I’m really excited about and can’t wait to have it out there!

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  • Mark Betteridge

    Mark Betteridge is C-U's owner and founder. C-U was formed to support up and coming artists in the underground and promote genres that were being ignored by the dance music media.